Outplacement Services Guide for 2020

This is where you’ll find everything you need to know about outplacement services.

Here, you can get average costs of outplacement.

And you’ll get information on specific pricing for outplacement services.

You can also learn how to evaluate outplacement firms.

Even more: you’ll get to see examples of how outplacement helps impacted workers in their online job search.

If you’re trying to decide on an outplacement provider, you’re in the right place.


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What Is Outplacement?

When a company is preparing for layoffs, it will often utilize outplacement services to help impacted workers transition to new jobs.

Sometimes outplacement support is handled internally. Most times, it’s handled by an external third party.

But what exactly does an outplacement firm do?


Common Outplacement Services

Here’s what you can (and should) expect an outplacement provider to offer your impacted workers:

  • Professional resume and cover-letter writing
  • Personal, one-on-one career transition consultations
  • Help with establishing an online presence for job searches
  • Optimization of resumes for automated resume screening processes
  • Online resume and cover letter posting
  • Personalized salary reports
  • Individual outplacement support (as opposed to group seminars)
  • 24/7 remote support done online



Depending on the provider, your impacted workers will get some or all of the outplacement services listed above.

Sometimes an outplacement firm will provide your impacted workers with office space and equipment for job searches. Although useful in some ways, these provisions are considered old school and unnecessary.

The truth is, most of the job searching process (and hiring process) today is done completely online.

Modern outplacement companies now focus more on the internet side of the job search. The best outplacement services will offer personal, one-on-one career coaching to your impacted workers in lieu of office space and equipment.

It’s important to look into exactly what services an outplacement provider offers before entering into a contract with them.

Did You Know?


A study from The Journal of Employment Counseling found that displaced workers who receive higher level outplacement services are significantly more likely to be reemployed by program completion.

To see exactly how outplacement services will help your impacted employees, get your brochure with outplacement features:

History of Outplacement

After World War II, the job market in America exploded. You could get a job easily and you could expect that job to support you for the rest of your life.

Over a span of 25 years after the war, 25 thousand new jobs were created, with a workforce of nearly 80 million people.

But the merger and acquisition boom of the 1950s produced a negative consequence: burdensome bureaucracies and structures.


Americans had become increasingly dependent on large institutions and corporations for their well-being.

Prosperity, job security, retirement, health care—by the 1950s, all of it was wrapped up with corporations. Independence and self-reliance were no longer the key ingredients for success.




Corporations began breaking up their complex bureaucracies and structures, and the American worker suffered. And so managers became concerned about how to curb the negative effects of high termination rates.

As an answer, new organizations emerged calling themselves outplacement firms. They offered consulting and outplacement services to help managers effectively downsize their companies and support their impacted workers.




Bernard Haldane is credited as the pioneer of outplacement. In 1945, Haldane began to teach WW II veterans how to find jobs by first identifying and outlining their specific skills and interests. This technique became—and continues to be—a staple of outplacement services.

Evolution of Job Search


Technology has changed both how we find jobs and how we hire people.

Today’s job seeker conducts online job searches to apply for more jobs at a quicker rate. Likewise, employers receive far more resumes than they used to.




Most companies now screen resumes with automated software that looks for specific keywords. This screening process eliminates the vast majority of applicants automatically.

According to SearchCIO.com, 50% of midsized companies and nearly all large corporations utilize this process.

Challenges Facing Job Seekers

The Haldane method of identifying skills, strengths, and interests hasn’t changed.

But it has become modernized.

Automated resume screenings now look for specialized workers, and they quickly eliminate those who don’t fit the bill.


In many cases, a job seeker’s resume isn’t even looked at by a human before it’s eliminated from the pile.

Moreover, the internet has removed the job seeker’s need for office space and equipment. Now, the advantage goes to the job seeker who receives personal, one-on-one career coaching over the internet.

Job seekers who aren’t prepared for automated resume screenings—or who don’t receive the benefits of one-on-one career consulting—tend to suffer the most from layoffs.



Did You Know?

A study from The Journal of Employment Counseling found that the longer outplacement services are provided, the more likely a job seeker’s new salary will be higher than their past salary.

To learn how much outplacement will cost for your company, get your brochure with pricing:

Old vs. New Outplacement

Outplacement services in the past provided job seekers with office space, computers, telephones, printers, and other equipment to assist them in their job searches.

Group seminars also played a vital role in the older outplacement process.

But things have changed….


Now that most job searches are done online, outplacement services have shifted away from providing office space and group consultations. They now focus on online support and personal career consultations. The best outplacement companies also provide specialized resume-building services. Not all firms are able to do this though, and some lower-end firms will make job seekers write their own resumes.

To give displaced workers maximum value and support, outplacement firms must constantly adapt to modern job search and hiring processes.

Here’s one of many ways Quest Outplacement is helping impacted workers conquer their online job searches:

Career Transition Consultants

The best outplacement services provide job seekers with one-on-one consultation time.

In short, a Career Transition Consultant assists the job seeker with any aspect of the job search—resume writing and posting, cover-letter writing, establishing an online presence, salary research, and more.

Ideally, Career Transition Consultations should be ongoing over a period of months.


Disadvantages of Outplacement

When done improperly, outplacement services can cost your company a great deal of money while offering little value to your impacted workers.




You should avoid selecting an outplacement provider that exhibits any of the following traits:

  • Doesn’t provide ongoing support
  • Doesn’t provide one-on-one Career Transition Consultants
  • Imposes a required minimum number of impacted employees as part of the contract
  • Contractually binds you to an exclusive arrangement for any period of time
  • Provides group seminar programs instead of personal consultations
  • Forces impacted employees to write their own resumes and cover letters
  • Doesn’t offer online support to impacted employees

Cost of Outplacement

The exact cost of outplacement can vary greatly from firm to firm.

More than two-thirds of 265 U.S. employers with layoffs over two years spent an average of $3,589 per displaced employee, according to a survey by the American Management Association and Institute for Corporate Productivity.




Some outplacement firms are intentionally vague about how much their outplacement services cost and will offer different prices to different customers.

You should avoid working with an outplacement firm that does not clearly define their prices upfront. These firms may charge you a higher rate after learning about your budget for outplacement.

Quest Outplacement offers outplacement programs starting at $955 per individual. To learn more about these outplacement options, request a free brochure with pricing information:

Evaluate Outplacement Firms


Here are several key factors to consider when evaluating outplacement firms:

  1. Type of Outplacement Support — Would your displaced workers benefit most from group seminars or individual one-on-one outplacement? Today, the best outplacement services provide personal Career Transition Consultants to job seekers. If personalized support is desired, can it be provided remotely (to reduce costs) or would it be provided face-to-face in an office setting?
  2. Type of Resume and Cover Letter Support — Does the outplacement firm make your impacted workers create their own resumes and cover letters? Or does the outplacement firm write new resumes and cover letters for them? Do the outplacement services include optimizing resumes for automated screenings?
  3. Nationwide Support in Any Location — Does your company have employees located throughout the country? If so, do you prefer to work with multiple regional outplacement firms or a single firm that provides outplacement nationwide? Will your displaced workers need to drive to a city to utilize outplacement services, or does the firm offer their services remotely via career coaching calls and online tools?
  4. Length of Time in Business — Is the outplacement company an established firm? The longer a firm has been in business, the more stable and successful you can expect it to be.
  5. Customized Job Search Strategy — Does the outplacement company have a process in place wherein they account for the displaced worker’s individual needs? Will the firm create a customized job search strategy based on the worker’s unique situation?
  6. Length of Time Outplacement Support Is Provided — How much time will your displaced workers require outplacement support? Do any impacted employees hold senior-level positions, requiring more time for them to find suitable employment? Most job seekers require a minimum of three months of outplacement support.
  7. Availability of Online Tools — Would your displaced workers benefit from accessing online tools, such as career assessment tools, and salary survey resources? Can the tools be accessed 24/7 from any location?
  8. Experience with Current Job Search Practices — Will the internet play a vital role in your displaced worker’s job search strategy? Does the outplacement firm post job seeker resumes to the top online career sites, such as LinkedIn?
  9. Outplacement Costs — Are outplacement prices clearly defined and stated on the outplacement firm’s website or in their marketing materials? Are the outplacement programs affordable while still giving maximum value to your impacted workers? Does the firm have a minimum fee or required minimum headcount? Will you only be charged for those impacted workers who elect to use outplacement services?

Get a Brochure with Pricing Info

Quest Outplacement is transparent and consistent about the price of outplacement services. Request a brochure with complete info on outplacement programs and prices:

Useful Tools for Job Seekers


At Quest, we are constantly creating and refining tools that job seekers can use to boost their performance in the job search.

Customizing Resumes to the Target Position

According to a survey by CareerBuilder, 63% of HR managers will pay more attention to a resume that is tailored to the open position. Many job seekers are unaware of the importance of resume tweaking. We created an easy-to-follow infographic that teaches job seekers how to customize their resumes to the opportunities they seek.


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Helping Job Seekers Explore All Options During the Job Search

One of the things Quest emphasizes to job seekers is that they must expand their approach to landing desired positions. A mountain of statistics are available which show that employers and recruiters use a variety of methods to fill open positions—not just one thing.

Before coaching a job seeker on strategy, we like to show them some statistics which can help them understand the necessity of a comprehensive approach:


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Get a Brochure with Pricing Info for Outplacement Services

How much will outplacement cost for your company?

Get a copy of our outplacement brochure and see the exact pricing and features for each of our programs.


Brochure with exact prices and features of outplacement